After going 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI in his Red Sox debut on Friday night, second baseman Jose Peraza has moved up in Boston’s lineup for Saturday’s contest against the Baltimore Orioles.
For the first time in his Red Sox career, Peraza will be hitting out of the five-hole less than 24 hours after he was the club’s No. 9 hitter on Opening Day.
In his five plate appearances on Friday, Peraza saw a total of just eight pitches, proving a patient approach might not work best for every hitter.
“He doesn’t waste a lot of time,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said of Peraza postgame. “First pitch, if he sees it and it’s in there, he rips it.” The average exit velocity of Peraza’s four hits was 95.6 mph off the bat.
Prior to coming over to Boston in December, the Venezuela native accrued 19 plate appearances out of the five-hole over four seasons with the Reds and posted a .316 batting average in that spot.
Cincinnati non-tendered Peraza back in December after he mustered an OPS+ of 62 in 2019, which prompted the Red Sox to sign the infielder to a one-year deal just days later.
During Summer Camp workouts earlier this month, Peraza seemed very confident that he would be able to bounce back offensively in 2020 when speaking with reporters via Zoom on July 14.
“Offensively I feel like I’m a completely different person,” he said. “Because I put in so much work during the offseason and then obviously during (spring training) camp and even during this pandemic while we were waiting, just making the minor tweaks. Offensively I’m a different person than I was back in Cincinnati.”
It was only one game, but Peraza could prove to be a key piece of the Red Sox’ infield puzzle this season and beyond seeing how he is under team control through 2022.